Chelsea’s Champions League win over Rennes couldn’t have been extra routine, over as a contest earlier than the interval towards opponents decreased to break limitation and numerical drawback inside 45 minutes.
And but, regardless of the low-key and cozy nature of the 3-0 victory, it may be judged within the wider context as one other signal of the progress being made underneath supervisor Frank Lampard that has lurked a bit beneath the radar.
The naked information are that Chelsea’s newest Champions League triumph was by no means in query after Timo Werner’s two first-half penalties, each given towards Rennes defender Dalbert, the second for a harsh handball offence which introduced a second yellow card and dismissal.
Tammy Abraham’s third merely offered affirmation of a really easy evening however Lampard has each purpose to look exterior this win and really feel rising confidence in his reshaped Chelsea side.
Solid on the again now?
The fingers had been pointed firmly within the path of Chelsea’s defence and Lampard’s organisational capability as they struggled earlier within the season, significantly when conceding three targets in attracts away at West Bromwich Albion and at home to Southampton.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, a surprising purchase at £71m, and 39-year-old Willy Caballero shared the troublesome goalkeeping place whereas England left-back Ben Chilwell, signed for £50m from Leicester City, was initially injured and the skilled Thiago Silva, at 36, was changing into accustomed to the Premier League tempo.
It now appears to be like more and more as if Lampard’s perception that Chelsea would current a unique face as soon as new faces turned extra acquainted, is beginning to come true.
The signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes has offered the type of solidity and composure not often seen underneath Arrizabalaga. Early days, after all, however the indicators are good.
Chelsea are actually effectively on their means in the direction of eight hours with out conceding a objective, Mendy serving to them to maintain 5 consecutive clear sheets for the primary time since October 2010. They haven’t conceded a objective within the first three video games of their Champions League marketing campaign, which final occurred in 2009-10.
Mendy, 28, may be very a lot a private mission for Chelsea’s technical advisor Petr Cech, one of many membership’s biggest in that place and who additionally performed for Rennes.
Cech’s enter was necessary within the choice to signal Mendy, revealing he stood out amongst 30 keepers he had watched within the final 18 months.
Thiago Silva is now bringing his expertise to bear, extracting the most effective from Kurt Zouma, whereas Chilwell can be enhancing quickly. The veteran Brazilian barely broke sweat towards Rennes, organising, making essential interceptions whereas sometimes spraying essentially the most magnificent lengthy passes.
A leading edge up entrance
There was by no means any doubt concerning the pedigree of Werner, a £47.5m signing from RB Leipzig, and his two targets on Wednesday made it seven from his final seven video games for Chelsea and Germany.
Werner has tempo and a potent combination of greed and unselfishness that can make him an enormous asset for Chelsea. He is actually the person on the spot now, scoring two emphatic penalties after assuming duties from Jorginho after his current failures.
He can be a specialist on this competitors having been instantly concerned in 13 targets, 10 targets and three assists, in his final 14 Champions League appearances, with the final 5 from the penalty spot.
Hakim Ziyech has proven his potential in flashes, though Kai Havertz was lacking after returning a constructive take a look at for Covid-19.
Chelsea at all times had high quality up entrance. The doubts had been on the again however they’re now trying completed at each ends of the pitch with loads of high quality in midfield towards Rennes within the form of Jorginho, Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante, who had been within the beginning line-up.
Mendy appears to be like the half in objective, exhibiting his powers of focus with one high quality late saving after being just about unemployed.
It isn’t any time to get carried away however that unbeaten sequence, and the way through which it’s being put collectively, would be the trigger for quiet confidence round Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are in seventh place in an unpredictable, fluctuating Premier League however stand solely 4 factors behind leaders and reigning champions Liverpool.
It is early days as Lampard places a recent face on Chelsea in his second season in cost, integrating new signings with the expertise he inherited – however he can have left Stamford Bridge on Tuesday with rising optimism.
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